When I began researching for Dolled Up For Murder, I went to doll shows and introduced myself to the doll dealers. They welcomed me with open arms and lots and lots of stories about dolls.
That’s where I found out about Frozen Charlotte.
The story begins in the 1840s when Seba Smith, a Maine author, wrote a poem based on a story he read about in the newspaper. Later the poem was put to music and even later the doll was created. The tiny porcelain dolls were baked into cakes or Christmas puddings. The lucky child, who found the doll, received a prize. Here’s the story behind the legend:
Once upon a time on New Years Eve, a vain young girl named Charlotte set off with her lover Charles to attend a ball. The night was frigid and the sleigh ride would be long. Charlotte’s mother begged her to wrap up in a blanket for the trip, but Charlotte wore a new dress that she feared might not be seen. She refused her mother’s request, and they set off. Only once during the long ride did Charlotte complain about the cold. Charles called to the horses to run faster. When they arrived, Charles jumped down and offered Charlotte his hand, only to discover that she had frozen to death. Charles mourned until he died of a broken heart.
To make a Frozen Charlotte dessert –line the sides and bottom of a springform pan with ladyfingers. Soften 1 ½ tsp. of unflavored gelatin in a little water. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff, adding a little vanilla or rum when ready. Meanwhile, heat the softened gelatin and 3/4 cup of sugar in a heavy pan until sugar dissolves. Add gelatin mix slowly to cream while whipping with a beater. Fill the lined pan with the cream mixture. Freeze overnight. Serve with more whipped cream, strawberries, cherries, or hot fudge.
The original poem can be found at: